Extinction Event [GRB130313A]

Microfiche 148 x 105mm, Duratrans lightbox 320 x 380mm, audio recordings, 23 & 8 mins.

On 13 March 2013 a short gamma-ray burst (GRB) lasting 300 milliseconds was observed exploding in the constellation Serpens. The microfiche and lightbox archives photographic metadata from this brief cataclysm – in X-ray, ultra-violet and optical spectrums, along with images of the observers and their environment. In the teleconference recording, the SWIFT X-ray satellite team verify their detection of radiation from GRB130313A, originating billions of years ago in the early Universe. The international team of astronomers also plan further deep-field target observations using the SWIFT telescope.  In the second recording, Dr Kim Page describes the fictional apocalypse of GRB impact on a biosphere such as Earth.

Produced during Dave Griffiths’ residency at X-ray and Observational Astronomy Group, University of Leicester. Featuring the voices of Dr Ben Gompertz, Burst Advocate, Dr Kim Page and Dr Phil Evans, Data Centre Scientists (University of Leicester); Professor John Nousek, Mission Director, Dr Boris Sbarufatti, Science Planner, Dr Mike Siegel, Observatory Duty Scientist, and Dr Dave Burrows, XRT Principal Investigator (Penn State University, USA); Dr Scott Barthelmy & Dr Neil Gehrels, Swift BAT Lead Scientists (Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA). Thanks to Professor Julian Osborne, X-ray and Observational Astronomy Group.